Thursday, September 25, 2008

Art and Letters

Genevieve is making good use of treating her life as school, as it were. The two drawings shown here were completed at her preschool, and the note was done at home in honor of mom's upcoming birthday in a month.

Above is Genevieve's depiction of her with her sister in a pumpkin patch. The drawing shows a time of good fortune -- rainbows and smiling suns are both positive omens in the mind of the artist.


Other than the obvious misspelling in the second word (should be BRTH, right), she's getting pretty good with those birthday greetings.

Five people going down a water slide. Wheee!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not the "e" word... try the next letter

Around our house, we have been dealing with the f-word. No, not that f-word, thank goodness. It is a four letter f-word, often preceded by the word "not." Around our house, fights are instigated regularly. Or, put another way:


Oh yes, the wail rises from the oppressed elder four-year old, "It's not f a i r !!"

My wife calls "fair" the f-word. Warns her daughter not to use the f-word. I am appalled -- my wife is messing with f-word, and I don't think that it will bring any good. She merely giggles in glee.

"What about the real f-word?" I ask.

"Oh, that's just that word-that-must-not-be-named," she replied, slipping in the Tom Riddle reference.

"Someday, her friends will be talking about the f-word, and she'll blurt out 'Oh, I know all how you can't say anything around parents about how not fair something is,' and her friends will stare at, think 'ooo, what a square' and will move slowly away."

"So? There's worse things."

I can't put my finger on it, but I think that you just shouldn't mess with the f-word.

The first child to use the real f-word in our house is likely to be Reesa. She loves to walk around, singing little rhyming songs. I always cringe when she is working on her "ucks". You know; cluck, duck, stuck, muck. It's only a matter of time.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sixty ways to draw

v. To cause to flow forth.
At the conclusion of dinner last night, it was time for the children to bathe. I announced as I left the kitchen for the bathroom, "Okay girls, I'm going to draw a bath."

v. To make a likeness of on a surface, using mostly lines; depict with lines.
After adjusting the temperature, I returned to scurry the girls along, and found Genevieve doing something in the corner of the playroom.

"What are you doing, Genevieve?"

"I'm drawing a bath. See?"
[ lists 60 verb definitions for draw, plus more verb phrases and idioms.]

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The zamboni gene

There are some weird things that appear to be passed genetically from parent to child. The inability to close dresser drawers exhibited by Genevieve closely matches a talent exhibited by one of her parents. Earlier today, when I requested that she close a dresser drawer that I had previously asked her to close, she shrugged and tried to get out of it with: "Oh. I can't help it, you know. I get that from (unnamed parent)."

Another weird trait is that both of my daughters correctly (sort of) use the word "zamboni" in a sentence. I don't believe that either of them has seen one in operation. On the rare occasion that I can watch a broadcast hockey game, Zambonis are not shown, so they don't pick it up environmentally in that manner. Our local outdoor skating ponds are hosed and shoveled, but are not manicured by an "ice resurfacer." Therefore, it is clear that my childrens utilization of zamboni was passed down from 10 generations of French-Canadian ancestry, most directly from their paternal grandmaman, and yours truly. (Yes, I know zambonis were not used in New France in 1680--but you can't tell me that my great-to-the ninth grandfather wouldn't have known exactly what to do with it if he had found one).

One day, I arrived home after work and was greeted with this from Reesa, followed by Genevieve:

"We were going to zamboni the house, but we had lunch, and then napped so we didn't."

"Yes, we did, Reesa. Remember, "zamboni the house" means that we cleaned it really well."

Okay, so I have a little work to do, but it's a good start.

Photo credit: Vincent Baas

I Wanna Drive a Zamboni (Gear Daddies)

Well I went down to the local arena
Asked to see the manager man
He came from his office, said, "Son can I help you?"
I looked at him and said, "Yes you can..."

I want to Drive the Zamboni...hey
I want to Drive the Zamboni...Yes I do!

Now ever since I was young it's been my dream
That I might drive a Zamboni machine
I'd get the ice just as slick as could be
And all the kids would look up to me

I want to drive the Zamboni...hey
I want to drive the Zamboni...Yes I do!

Now the manager said, "Son, I know it looks keen
But that right there is one expensive machine
And I've got Smokey who's been driving for years."
About that time I broke down in tears.

Cause I want to drive the Zamboni...hey
I want to drive the Zamboni...Yes I do!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Freewheelin' thoughts

Today was the first day that Genevieve and I commuted to work and pre-school via bike. I arrived at work an hour late, trashed a freewheel, and was generally slow and unorganized; so all-in-all, it went well. The freewheel was old, had worn cogs and a stretched chain. Now I have a new Shimano freewheel and a new chain. At $52 with labor and on-the-spot repair, it beats the cost of a cheap automobile repair. Life is good.

I wondered if my children will share the same zeal that I have for bicycles. Could be that they will grow up with parents that like bikes, they'll experience being occasionally wet and cold with them, and as adults will happily adopt whatever SUV's will be called in twenty-five years. Maybe they will associate bicycles with frugality, and will look at their upbringing in frugality, home cooking, and limited commercial entertainment and will spend the remainder of their lives rejecting their parent's choices. These are the thoughts that went through my head while riding into the city this morning.

Genevieve, on the other hand, was merrily singing, "My daddy, my daddy, my daddy is the greatest." Wish I could've had her miked up.

Graphic source: Wikipedia Commons

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mashed potatoes

"Daddy, you smell."

"I smell?"

"You smell like mashed potatoes."

"Mashed potatoes?" I sniffed my shirt, but no mashed-potato-olfactory-bells were triggered. We were camping at a church campground on Labor Day weekend, but I knew that her observation was not caused by the great outdoors. You see, she had noted this about me previously, in the comfort of whatever it is that our family home smells like.

I remembered that when I was a child, I thought adults were... well, kind of gross. When they sweated, they didn't smell good, and adult bathroom smells -- yuck! And they had hair in weird places, and funny looking skin, and their breath was not always the best. Now, I am the adult, and my youngest buttercup is telling me that I smell like mashed potatoes.

I thought about mashed potatoes. You know, I like mashed potatoes, done right with a hint of milk and topped with butter and salt.

I also noticed that she hadn't moved away from me, nor made any funny faces. Being the opportunistic father that I am, I decided to take it as a compliment.

Reesa sidled up next to me at the campfire the following night and stated, "You're sitting here by yourself."

"Yeah," I replied, "no one else will sit next to me. I think it's because I smell like mashed potatoes."

She paused for a moment. "Well," she concluded, "maybe another boy that smells like mashed potatoes will sit next to you."

Photo source: Wikipedia Commons/ National Cancer Institute

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Breakfast Tues BAPB

Since our menu drawing experience a couple of months ago, Genevieve has drawn a few similar "menu" pages of her own for fun. A couple of weeks ago, on Monday, she asked Marilee how to spell breakfast and Tuesday, drew the above menu, and presented it to my wife saying that this is what she wanted for breakfast the next day. She figured out the first letters of each of the foods, and included that with the illustration.

That would be a menu of Bananas, Apple, Plum and Blueberries. Her initiative and clear request was honored on Tuesday morning.